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2009 (8) TMI 81

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..... itioner is entitled for value of goods at claimed in writ petition – interest also allowed for 18 years at the rate of 6% as against 18% claimed by the petitioner - 3699 of 1991 - Dated:- 25-8-2009 - FERDINO. I. REBELLO and D.G. KARNIK, JJ Mr. H. Daruwala i/b Crawford Bailey & Co. for the petitioner. Mr. A.S. Rao with Mr.R.B. Pardeshi for for respondent nos. 1 and 2. Mr.Firoz Bharucha with Ms.Sheetal Mhatra i/b Mulla & Mulla for respondent no. 3. [Judgement per D.G.KARNIK, J.] - By this petition, the petitioner prays for a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to forthwith return to the petitioners the consignment of 500 kg of Erythromycin or in the alternative to pay to the petitioners the value thereof amounting to Rs.14,91,5 .....

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..... ner wrote to the Collector of Customs requesting him to look into the matter and also requesting for a personal meeting. No action was taken by the Customs Authorities inspite of reminders by the petitioner. The petitioner therefore, by a letter dated 14th April 1991 called upon the respondent no.1 to deliver the goods or compensate the petitioner with the value thereof. By another letter dated 23rd April 1991, the petitioner called upon the respondent no.3 Air India to return the goods or compensate it. By a reply dated 10th May 1991, 4 respondent no.3 Air India informed the petitioner that it was only acting as an agent of respondent no.4 International Airports Authority of India and the goods were auctioned by the Customs in November 199 .....

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..... t appears that the said officer decided that all the goods lying in the junk room were damaged beyond repair/retrieval and ought to be sold or auctioned off. The 3rd Respondent s responsibility in respect of goos ends at this point. Thereafter, the customs authorities decide as to which goods to auctions, and I am not aware as to what proceedings the customs authorities follow thereafter. 7. Ultimately, the customs officials as per their usual practice, gave me oral instructions subsequently confirmed by a letter dated 24/11/1990 which letter was personally handed over by the Customs officials to Mr.Anthony Pereira of the 3rd Respondent, that all the goods in the said Junk Room had been auctioned off, and to peermit the purchaser to remove .....

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..... d to the auction purchaser. Counsel for the respondents stated before us that in the facts and circumstances of the case, it is not possible to deliver the goods to the petitioner. The petitioner is the owners of the goods. The clearance of the goods was permitted by the Customs Authorities and even a detention certificate was issued. The goods were kept in the custody of the respondent no.3 or 4 as the case may be by the Customs Authorities as their agent and in a bonded warehouse. In the circumstances, the respondent nos.1 and 2 are liable to value of the goods to the petitioner. 5. In paragraph nos.28 and 30 of the petition, petitioners have stated the value of the goods to be Rs.14,91,500/. That value has not been disputed in the affida .....

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